Skip to main content

Reptilia touts first exotic snake in London despite council blocking animal by-law exemption

Bane the Burmese python may be the first exotic animal to slitheraro und city hall’s Animal Control By-law.

According to a social media post by Reptilia the snake is, “all moved into his new habitat at Reptilia London” and “countless hours have gone into replicating their habitats perfectly.”

On Feb. 14, city council thought it closed the door on Reptilia’s request to amend the Animal Control By-law, as well as business licensing rules that forbid displaying exotics.

“We, and I believe others, have notified the city that there was already a violation of the by-law,” Rob Laidlaw of Zoocheck told CTV News London.

However, the lawyer representing Reptilia said the choice before council in February was to put reasonable local rules in place for Reptilia’s operation.

Michael Lerner added that council’s decision not to proceed with a public hearing about possible amendments does not block Reptilia from opening with exotic species.

“We are authorized to open pursuant to the provincial licensing process,” Lerner explained.

Civic Administration confirmed that the city is aware other a Burmese python has arrived.

Social media post by Reptilia. (Source: Reptilia/Facebook & Instagram)Director of Municipal Compliance Orest Katolyk explained in a statement that due to privacy laws, specific details cannot be provided, “This includes the status of any possible warnings, orders, administrative monetary penalties, charges or any other enforcement actions taken by the city.”

Any of those actions by the city could trigger a showdown in court.

“If the city does move and take some current action, then we will obviously be involved in the legal process,” Lerner said.

Zoocheck believes the city has a strong argument that the municipal ban on exotics is not superseded by provincial licensing.

“That argument that’s been put forward is an old argument it’s already been debunked. The city solicitor has said it’s not valid,” Laidlaw asserted. “Will they win? No.”

Lerner responded, “Anytime there’s a lawsuit, the one person thinks they’re going to win and the other person thinks they’re going to win.”

According to the Reptilia website, its London location will have 28,000 sq. ft. of indoor exhibits and offer “All-day fun for the entire family featuring self-guided and private tours, live shows and feedings, birthday party rooms, seasonal camps, and exclusive events!”

Once the indoor zoo is completed it intends to be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day inside Westmount Commons Mall.

On Thursday, a visit to the location revealed construction activities are still underway inside the zoo space. Top Stories

Stay Connected